Hydrosat thermal infrared imagery of New Mexico and its visual imagery counterpart. Credit: Hydrosat

SAN FRANCISCO – Geospatial data analytics company Hydrosat announced $20 million in recent government grants and investment for its campaign to measure water stress in plants and other indicators of climate change.

Statkraft Ventures led the funding round. Participants included Blue Bear Capital, Hartree Partners, OTB Ventures, Freeflow Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Techstars, Santa Barbara Venture Partners, Expon Capital and Hemisphere Ventures.

The funding Hydrosat announced April 25 includes $5 million in government grants and $15 million in Series A investment. Hydrosat announced one of the grants, a $1.2 million U.S. Air Force award to investigate national security applications for thermal infrared data, earlier this year.

With the new funding, Hydrosat will build two satellites, expand its staff and “bring a new commercial data fusion and analytics product to market,” Pieter Fossel, Hydrosat co-founder and CEO, told SpaceNews by email.

Hydrosat’s first two satellite missions are scheduled to launch in early 2024.

“Climate change is humanity’s most pressing issue, and Hydrosat is addressing it head-on with satellite data,” Fossel said in a statement. “The societal need for insights on water stress and climate are only growing, and that drives a significant market need for space-based insights.”

Extreme weather events like droughts, wildfires, storms and flooding are becoming increasingly frequent. The United States experienced 18 weather and climate disasters with price tags of $1 billion or more in 2022.

Climate tech

“Having recently expanded our investment scope to include climate tech, we are happy to announce Hydrosat as our first investment in this space,” Alexander Kueppers, Statkraft Ventures managing director, said in a statement. “Hydrosat will significantly improve insights and decision-making for those in charge by combining high-resolution thermal imagery with advanced analytics. The company’s technology enables the optimization of irrigation, fertilizer usage, wildfire and drought prediction, water resource management and urban heat mapping capabilities.”

Vaughn Blake, Blue Bear Capital partner, called cost-effective thermal infrared imagery “one of the holy grails for effective land management, efficient and responsible agricultural development, and precision climate analytics.”

Hydrosat has raised $35 million since the company was founded in 2017.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...